Inspired by their semester at the Mountain School Program of Milton Academy, Caitlin Dutkiewicz (I) and Anika Wasserman (I) decided to start a vegetable garden from scratch as their senior project.
The girls began the garden the first week of May. Manual labor was the first order of business. With help from other seniors, the girls cleared thick undergrowth from a 23’ by 38’ area, hauled manure and mulch, and planted seeds and seedlings in neat, long rows.
“The hardest part of the project was clearing out all of the weeds and brush to start the garden. And it was raining the whole time!” says Caitlin.
In addition, they are preparing a side of the hill to grow pumpkins and squash. The main garden will produce seven kinds of tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, carrots, lettuce and much more.
For the summer months, the girls are arranging an adopt-the-garden system; student and faculty families can sign up for rotating shifts to take care of the garden. On weekly harvest days, all involved families can pick and enjoy the produce. Anika and Caitlin have already recruited current Class II students to take over the reigns when they head off to college this fall.
The Mountain School generously donated some of the materials. The girls also used their own resources to buy seeds and plants from Brookwood Farm and a local nursery.
The garden sits kitty corner down a hill from the Junior Building and some Lower School students are helping the girls with sowing seeds and planting.
“At the Mountain School, we did a lot of gardening and we both wanted to bring something back from that experience to Milton. We also wanted a project that would unite the Lower School and Upper School,” says Anika.